Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

Think at your own risk.
Thursday, August 18, 2005
The Iraq conundrum
Every time I hear the president's supporters argue that "we have to succeed in Iraq" in order to make progress in "the war on terror that started on 9/11", and that "the stakes are too high for us to fail," I come back to a central, nagging point: 9/11 was visited on the U.S. by outside forces. The Iraq war was not.

We weren't forced into Iraq by circumstances, the way you could argue we were in Afghanistan. We had no attack to avenge, no terrorists to chase or to demand that Saddam Hussein turn over. We had, in fact, no impetus to attack Iraq at all. Even the original rationale for the war, Iraq's failure to account for vast stores of weapons of mass destruction it was known to have ten years earlier, and it's "desire" -- or if you believed Cheney and Condi Rice then and perhaps even now -- their initiative to build nuclear weapons -- fail to provide a cogent rationale for war. If a state we consider an enemy attempts to get WMD or nuclear weapons the Bushian argument follows that we have no choice but to attack it -- yet we aren't invading Iran, Syria or North Korea (at least not yet). If we did, it wouldn't stop terrorism either -- like the Iraq war itself, it would only further ignite it. And if an attack on the U.S. by citizens of a given country is cause enough for war, then Britain should be at war with Pakistan and we should be at war with Saudi Arabia and Egypt (the countries where the 9/11 hijackers came from).

None of it holds up. And so the idea that we "have to succeed in Iraq" doesn't hold up either. We shouldn't ever have been there, under any logical argument. It is a conflict of our own making. So our need to succeed sounds more like a need for the Bush administration to succeed. Or a sense that we broke the place, and now we have to try and fix it. Or worse, an acknowledgment that we have created what could be THE destabilizing force in the Mideast -- a haven for terrorists we drew there, but whose reach will be as global as al-Qaida's. Even if that's the case, than the Iraq war (or whatever we're calling it today), isn't a struggle against terrorism at all. It's a struggle to undo an American mistake.

Update: Cindy Sheehan is going home to take care of her mother, who had a stroke. I'm sure the president's people hope her supporters would leave. They shouldn't count on it.
posted by JReid @ 7:08 PM  
ReidBlog: The Obama Interview
Listen now:


Site Feed

Email Me

**NEW** Follow me on Twitter!

My Open Salon Blog

My TPM Blog

My FaceBook Page

My MySpace


Blogroll Me!

Syndicated by:

Blog RSS/Atom Feed Aggregator and Syndicate


Add to Technorati Favorites

Finalist: Best Liberal Blog
Thanks to all who voted!

About Reidblog

Previous Posts
"I am for enhanced interrogation. I don't believe waterboarding is torture... I'll do it. I'll do it for charity." -- Sean Hannity
Templates by
Free Blogger Templates